Capital stocks and carbon budgets


To stabilize climate change and limit global warming to any given level (e.g. 1.5ºC or 2ºC) net long-lived GHG emissions eventually need to be reduced to zero.  The cumulative carbon emissions humanity will have emitted, by the time net emissions reach zero, determines peak warming.  While we have not yet consumed the carbon budgets for 1.5ºC or 2ºC warming, much of the remaining budget is already locked-in by existing capital stock (especially electricity generation infrastructure) that will emit for many years to come.  We research remaining carbon budgets (especially for electricity generation) and committed emissions from generation infrastructure to identify potentially stranded assets and provide scientific evidence for potential least-cost decarbonisation pathways.  This research has implications for corporate decision makers, financial investors, and policy makers

People: Alexander Pfeiffer, Cameron Hepburn, Richard Millar & Myles Allen

Project Leader / Primary Investigator

Prof Cameron Hepburn